#37 The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot by Brand New
I was a big Brand New fan from almost the beginning of their rise to fame, and by fame I don’t mean real fame, just fame as in having a few million people know who you are but not having even a single percent of the awareness of the populace that Lady Gaga or even Justin Bieber (and now Rebecca Black) have – by the way, concerning Rebecca Black and how people like to make fun of her song Friday, please keep in mind that she didn’t write it, and that it was written and produced by Clarence Jey and Patrice Wilson, so lay off Rebecca Black, she’s only 13, and start making fun of those assumedly adult hacks – I remember recording the music video for Jude Law And A Semester Abroad and watching it over and over again. It wasn’t too interesting of a music video, I just loved the song. It did that thing that I hate in videos where it shows the band playing their instruments. I’d rather just have a story in the music video. Showing the band playing their instruments seems like a cop out to me. I didn’t mind it back then, but now it’s been totally fucked out. But I remember that video being the first time I saw a guitarist do that thing where they sling the guitar around their body and then catch it and start playing again. I was completely amazed by that.
The point is that I loved Brand New, and I had bought their first album, Your Favorite Weapon, and loved that, but then my family no longer had cable, and therefore no longer had MTV, and I didn’t have the internet, so I was never aware of when bands came out with new albums, so I was completely unaware of Brand New’s second album until like two years after it had came out. And the first time I became aware of it was through this song, which when I first heard I didn’t even realize it was Brand New.
One day it came on my favorite radio station, 94.7 NRK, which I don’t listen to anymore because listening to the radio is a hassle, and a couple seconds into the song I could tell that I was going to like it so I jumped over to the radio and hit the record bottom on the built in cassette player – Yep, my radio came with a cassette player, jealous? As I assume most people my age did, I used to always record songs off the radio because it was cheaper than CDs and illegally downloading songs off the internet ironically could only be done by the people who had money and could afford computers – I say that like this was 20 years ago and computers were the size of a two door Honda, but in reality it was only like six or seven years ago. So I loved the song immediately and would listen to it a lot, but never knowing it was sung by Jesse Lacey because it sounded a lot different than how he had sung on Your Favorite Weapon. It was only weeks, or perhaps months, later when Jamie Cooley was talking about the song before she played it and had mentioned it was by Brand New. Then I quickly did the math that it was a song I didn’t know by Brand New and that they must have a new album out and I quickly bought the album, Deaj Entendu (translated to Already Heard), even though I didn’t have much money back then.
I kind of liked that about the past. Lately whenever I want to buy a CD I just buy the CD and don’t really think about it much in financial terms. Although nowadays I pretty much only buy CDs of bands I love, partly to help support them financially, although I suppose if I wanted to help them financially I should really stop buying so many of the CDs used. It’s just a cheap habit I can’t quite kick. The point is that back in the olden days I never had any money because I was just a dumb kid (whereas now the ‘kid’ part can be dropped) so the only time I could get CDs was for Christmas or my birthday or with the little money I would save up, so every time I got a CD it would mean a lot to me. Not to mention that my music collection was so much smaller, and there weren’t ways like Youtube, or Pandora, or Lastfm.com to listen to and find new music for free, so I would listen to the CD over and over again. So I don’t get that connection with new music that I used to, except with the bands I love of course, where I’ll try not to listen to new singles and just wait until the CD comes out and then buy a physical copy of the CD and listen to it over and over again throughout the day just like I used to do in the past.
I should probably talk about this song, because lyrically it’s such a beautiful song. And I really do mean beautiful. I don’t just want to get it drunk, fuck the shit out of it, and then not call it back the next day. I want to slowly open up to it, and caress it, and make passionate love to it, and then not call it back the next day – I assume I will have moved on to a new beautiful song by then. Let me show you some of my favorite lyrics from the song.
“And if it makes you less sad, I’ll take your pictures all down. Every picture you paint, I will paint myself out.”
“And if it makes you less sad, we’ll start talking again. You can tell me how vile, I already know that I am.”